Trial of Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s N700m fraud case suffers setback

Trial of Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s N700m fraud case suffers setback

The trial of the Edo State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and four others at the Federal High Court,

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The trial of the Edo State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Osagie Ize-Iyamu, and four others at the Federal High Court, Benin, suffered a setback as the court failed to sit. The court however adjourned the case to July 7, for hearing.

Other defendants in the suit include former Edo State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih, state chairman of the party, Tony Aziegbemi; former deputy governor of the state Lucky Imasuen, and Efe Erimuoghae Anthony.

The defendants were to appear before Justice M. Umar over a case filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), bordering on an eight-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N700 million meant to prosecute the 2015 general election.

The EFCC, in Suit No FHC/BE21C/ 2016, said Ize-Iyamu and four others allegedly received public funds illegally to the tune of N700 million for the purpose of the 2015 general election, contrary to the provisions of the EFCC Act and the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

The EFCC further alleged that the defendants conspired among themselves to commit the offence in March 2015, and took possession and control of the funds without any contract award. The court had on June 18, 2020 validated the corruption charges against the defendants and adjourned the case to July 2, for further hearing.

At the resumed hearing, yesterday, the court could not sit due to undisclosed reasons, but it was observed that some of the defendants and their counsel were around the court premises. Speaking to journalists, counsel to the PDP chairman, Tony Aziegbemi, Pascal Ugbomhe said the case had been adjourned till July 7, 2020.

When asked the reason for adjournment, he said, “It is a normal occurrence in court duties. It’s nothing unusual to adjourn matters.